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Hello from Richmond, Virginia


Jun 22, 2012
Hi all.

I've posted a few times, so I thought it time to play by the rules and introduce myself.

I am fairly experienced, have been around lasers for many years. First was a HeNe (dim!) tube I picked up at an Amateur Radio swap fest, probably in 1985. It was, I think, removed from a store UPC scanner. Homebuilt the power supply. Pretty scary as a 15 year old, working with those voltages.

Just had a flashback to the time I'd set it up on a table at school and had it running completely exposed. A friend went over and picked up the running tube! Fortunately, he only touched the cathode - the bulk of the tube was metal. The anode was at the end of a porcelain extension. Phew!

I'll have to see if I can find that unit. I rebuilt it into a pistol. Took an old Laser Tag gun, mounted the tube, and cut away the top of the gun and mounted the big blue Radio Shack project box that had the power supply in it. Had an AC cord. Not a very stealthy or portable unit, but cool enough for its day. Had so much free time then. :)

I have an EE background, though I work today in IT. So, I'd say that though I am new to custom builds, I am relatively experienced. I am also skilled with Google - although I will admit to sometimes not using it in favor of a quick, if snarky, answer from the crew. :)

I will post pics and descriptions of the projects I have going. Need to focus on one, as I have maybe 5 in front of me.

First off, I need to figure out heatsinks. I've been looking for a metal lathe for weeks. Don't want to spend $40+ for a custom, so looking to make them. Came close the other day, when a friend had said he just had sold his lathe. If I'd only started a few weeks earlier!

One interesting potential host I picked up recently was an all aluminum gear shift handle I found on clearance at Wal-Mart. $6. I have attached photos. It is quite nifty. An Aixiz module will fit nicely when I can come up with a 17mm wide x 20mm deep heatsink. There are retaining screws and the cap screws on to cover them nicely. The end cap screws off for the purpose of hiding money, etc. in the shift handle. It fits about 2/3 of a D cell battery. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. The best use of the space I've devised thus far is taking 3 16340 LiPos and putting them in a triangle. Not an easy removal process for recharging, but I'll come up with something. The well for the module and driver are deep enough and I'll just need to drill a small hole for access to the batteries. Or, I may drill it out wider and then I can put a taller battery in there. Trying to figure out a switch. The end cap is nice, so I don't want to mess with that. I'm thinking a small panel-mounted switch through the body will work. We'll see.

Another project is a 2D Maglite host. I want to put a sink in the head with 3 modules. So much room in it, would be nice to have a 445nm, 630nm, and... probably a 532 or 660. I have an M140 445nm and the Mitsu 300mW 630nm, also a couple 500mw Mitsu 660s.

I picked up a couple of the D-sized LiPos. They are quite a bit longer with the protection devices integrated. If I do install 3 modules in this host, I'll be mod'ing the switch, so will create add'l room for those cells.

OK, enough for now. That's what I'm up to. Cheers.


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Well-known member
Sep 20, 2008
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